Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, left, is congratulated by teammate… (Harry How / Getty Images )
Once there was a time when Andre Ethier was king of the walk-offs, when his swing was golden, when he threatened to make a run at the triple crown.
Then came a broken pinkie, then a banged up knee, and then the uncertainty.
Ethier looked plenty healthy when he ripped through spring training on an extra-base tear, and he hasn’t let up to start the regular season.
Ethier revisited his game-winning ways in the Dodgers' home opener Tuesday, celebrating his birthday by driving a solo home run in the eighth to propel the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Clayton Kershaw, able to go only three innings in Thursday’s season opener because of the flu, returned in strong form, holding the Pirates scoreless until they punched a run across in the seventh.
The Dodgers had scored their only run of the game to that point off Kevin Correia in the first inning, when Dee Gordon singled, stole second and scored on a pair of groundouts.
Kershaw and Correia then exchanged scoreless innings until Pittsburgh scored in the seventh.
Kershaw left after seven innings, having allowed the one run on four hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
The victory went to Kenley Jansen, who pitched a perfect eighth, and the save to Javy Guerra. It is already Guerra’s third save of the season.
Ethier’s home run came off right-handed reliever Jason Grilli, and was his second of the season.
The victory came on the day the Dodgers celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium.
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Andre Ethier home run gives Dodgers a golden 2-1 victory